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NIPH

Norway to offer everyone second Covid-19 vaccine by end of August

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is planning to offer everyone the opportunity to be fully vaccinated by the end of the summer.

Norway to offer everyone second Covid-19 vaccine by end of August
Somebody receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. Pascal GUYOT / AFP

NIPH director Camilla Stoltenberg said that everyone would be offered their second dose by summers end if everything goes as planned.

“It is possible and conceivable, and we hope to be able to offer everyone their second dose during the second half of August,” Director of the NIPH, Camilla Stoltenberg, told radio station P4.

This is despite the possibility of Norway dropping the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the country’s vaccination program.

On Monday, an expert committee set up by the government to undertake a risk assessment following suspected severe side effects after receiving the vaccine, such as blood clots, said that government should withdraw the two vaccines from its vaccination strategy.

READ MORE: Norway should axe AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines, expert committee rules 

The plan is reliant on deliveries from Pfizer and Moderna arriving on time. The program will also be leaning on municipalities to be flexible with their vaccine appointments.

“We have been preparing for the summer for a long time, and the municipalities must be prepared too so that people can get vaccinated over the summer holidays.

We will work intensely throughout the summer to continue to have the high numbers of people getting vaccinated as we do now,” Stoltenberg added.

She has also advised people that they should be prepared to be offered both doses during the summer holidays.

“Be prepared that you can be offered a vaccine, both first and second dose, through the summer, so you should plan accordingly,” Stoltenberg said.

The NIPH has previously said it aims to offer everyone their first dose by mid-July.

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Explained: How to register foreign Covid-19 vaccines in Norway 

Did you know that you can get coronavirus vaccines taken abroad added to your Norwegian Covid certificate? Here’s how. 

Explained: How to register foreign Covid-19 vaccines in Norway 
Here's how you can add a Covid-19 vaccine taken abroad added to your Norwegian Covid certificate. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Residents in Norway can get vaccines taken in other countries registered in Norway and have them added to their Norwegian Covid certificate. 

This comes with a number of perks, such as being able to skip quarantine on your return to Norway if you are fully vaccinated, travelling freely to countries that accept EU Covid passes and attending events such as concerts that require a Covid certificate without having to test. 

It can, in most cases, also be a relatively straightforward process. Below we’ll talk you through everything you need to know. 

Who can register a foreign vaccine? 

Pretty much anyone who has an identity number, either a Norwegian national identity number or a D-Number, can register a European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Covid-19 vaccine that’s been administered outside of Norway. 

For practical reasons, you will need to have a level-four form of electronic ID to log into helsenorge.no, Norway’s digital health portal, when you wish to access your Covid certificate, so this is worth bearing in mind also. 

You can take a look at our guide to e-IDs in Norway here

Which vaccines are you able to register? 

You are currently only able to add EMA approved coronavirus vaccines taken in other countries to your Norwegian Covid certificate. 

These are currently Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson single-use Janssen vaccine.

This means that if you are planning on getting a jab in a country that offers vaccines that aren’t EMA approved as part of its inoculation program, you should prioritise getting a jab you will be able to add to your Norwegian Covid certificate. 

For those vaccinated in the UK it is unclear whether batches of AstraZeneca produced in the UK are included in this. The Local has contacted the Ministry of Health to confirm what applies to those who have received these batches. 

How do you register the vaccines? 

To add a foreign vaccine to your Covid-19 certificate with the Norwegian Immunisation Registry, SYSVAK, you will need to have your proof of vaccination verified by a medical professional. This can be a general practitioner, municipal health services, or a private healthcare provider. 

The vaccination certificate will need to contain the name of the vaccine, vaccination site, date and batch number of the vaccine.

In terms of proof, you can use either written documentation of vaccination or a Covid-19 certificate that has been issued in the EU or EEA. Some vaccine cards or certificates come with all this information included, so that may be sufficient proof. If not, you may need written proof from a medical professional in the country where the vaccine was issued that contains all the relevant information. 

Then you will need to request either an in-person consultation or a video one if you aren’t currently in Norway. 

This will cost around 160 kroner if you are seeing your regular doctor. If you cannot get an appointment and want to speed up the process, you can use a private provider such as Dr.Dropin or Volvat. The price of a private provider will range from 350 kroner to 1,300 kroner depending on who you choose.

How long will it take for them to be registered? 

According to helsenorge.no, the jabs are typically added to the all-important vaccine certificate within 24 hours. 

Anecdotally, some people have reported that it can take up to a few days before the vaccine is added to the certificate. 

This means that if you are planning on getting a foreign vaccine registered before returning to Norway to skip quarantine and testing, you should give yourself ample time. This isn’t just if the vaccine takes longer than expected to appear on your certificate, but also in case the information is wrong and needs updating. 

One last thing worth remembering is that you aren’t considered fully vaccinated in Norway until a week after your final jab. 

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